On Blogging Just For Fun
It seems (to me) that every summer a wave of doubt sweeps across my blog feed. People are asking themselves why they bother to blog, whether anybody's reading what they're writing, how they ever thought they could make it into the big leagues of Boden sponsorship and blog award shortlists.
I'm not entirely immune.
Questions are jumbling around at the back of my mind. They're largely drowned out by my mental calendar (summer entertainments cross referenced with weather forecasts cross referenced with friends' work schedules), children's TV angst (where's Captain Sinker?!) and a constant loop of Wind the Bobbin Up. But they're there.
More and more, I'm finding that I don't feel comfortable telling my child's stories online. It's a shame as she's genuinely hilarious at the moment, but it just doesn't feel right to laugh at her toddler mishaps so publicly. I've set up an email address to send those stories to instead so that I can always remember them and she can read them when she's old enough not to cringe.
Less and less, I have tales of motherhood to share. We're through all the newborn months when things changed and lessons were learned and opinions were sought every week or so. These days, my little family bumbles along doing much the same things we always do - we try a new activity now and then; MM gets the occasional tooth; bedtimes go through good and bad patches; but we're basically into a routine which works for us all.
There are always things to mull over - what should or will our future hold? - but nothing that I particularly want to blog about at the moment.
I imagine myself writing witty accounts of mortifying incidents in my life - the kind of blog I most enjoy reading - but, to be honest, my life doesn't throw up that much fodder. There are only so many jokes I can make about our dodgy drains.
And, although I'm all for people making a living from their blogs if that's what they want to do, it's not something I'm particularly interested in myself. The paid posts I've been offered in the past have all been for companies I take personal issue with (try to increase my insurance premiums by 200%, will you?) and I'd hate to be in a position in which I felt I had to promote them because that's how I paid the bills. I don't want to learn to do flat lays, try to encourage readers to comment on posts about diarrhoea pills or feel stressed because my child's not enjoying an activity I've been paid to say that she loved. For me, blogging "freebies" are an exciting perk, not an essential part of writing in this space.
So, with all that in mind: why am I blogging and what have I got to say?
Well... I'm blogging because writing's what I do. It's how I process my thoughts and relieve my stress. Clearly, I like the sound (rhythm?) of my own voice (fingers on keyboard?).
I'm blogging because I've made genuine friends through it. There's a wonderful community here. I feel less awkward in my offline life because of the confidence my online friendships have given me.
And I'm blogging because I like having something which is all mine, which I create in my free time, on my own, away from my identity as Girlfriend, Mother and Cat Feeder.
As to what I have to say... I've decided not to worry about it so much. I miss the days when the blogs I read were rambling streams of consciousness with no promotional agenda, when we treated them (to an unwise degree, sometimes) as online diaries. So I'm ditching the post calendar and waiting to see what flows out of my fingers.
I feel that it's become a bit of a shameful thing, to admit that you blog just for fun. There are so many blog posts explaining how to avoid looking like an amateur, how to up your social media game and why blogging for a living is an admirable thing to do that taking any other approach becomes, by default, a bit of an embarrassment.
And yet most of the bloggers I actually interact with do blog for fun. Some of them are unashamed of it but most whisper about feeling like a bit of a failure; they don't have the time or the inclination to keep up with the big names but wonder if that makes their words less valid.
It really doesn't.
Let's make a louder noise about blogging for the fun of it. Let's make sure it's something people can and do feel proud of.
Who's with me?
Who's blogging just for fun?